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Lake Mac showground site looks set for major facelift

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A new multi-purpose building and a tourist camping precinct are among the plans being touted for the Morisset Showground upgrade.

The 20-hectare site, located 800 metres from the town’s centre, is set to be revamped under a draft Lake Macquarie City Council draft plan that will cater for more community events, tourists and outdoor activities.

The Morisset Showground, which hosts the annual Morisset Lake Macquarie Agricultural Show, Christmas carols, monthly markets and occasional large-scale events, is council-managed Crown Land classified as ‘Community’ land.

It includes the Morisset Showground and its associated facilities.

The site borders Freemans Drive to the west, Awaba Street to the north, Dora Street to the south and Morisset Uniting Church and
vegetated land around Clacks Creek to the east.

Lake Macquarie City Council section manager community assets Brendan Callander said actions outlined in the draft document would help the site cater for the area’s growing population.

“This is a site with so much potential,” he said.

“It’s less than one kilometre from the heart of Morisset, it’s close to the train station, and its multi-purpose facilities and open spaces cater to a wide range of community events and activities.

“The draft Plan of Management and Master Plan provides a framework for the continued celebration of the Showground’s history and use.”

Aerial view of the Morissett Showground

The project site, located on the lands of the Awabakal People – the traditional custodians of Lake Macquarie – was first gazetted for the public purpose of recreation in 1936.

The first agricultural show was undertaken on site in February 1951. 

In 1954, the Morisset Lake Macquarie District Agricultural Association began and in 1968 the Morisset Speedway opened at the same address.

Under new plans, the showground oval, also known as Neville Frost Oval, would be upgraded, including new spectator areas and event lawns.

A new showground building with pavilions and function and community spaces, is expected to improve existing and potential events and activities, including the annual show, equestrian events, festivals and markets.

Currently, the showground site includes 40 camping spaces.

The draft plan suggests creating a larger tourist camping precinct on the existing Les Norris Oval, with new amenities, a camp kitchen and other infrastructure.

The site is less than 2km from the Pacific Motorway and is located to the north of the former Morisset Country Club, which is now
proposed to be the ‘Cedar Mill’ entertainment precinct.

“We want to continue to improve the experience for visitors,” Mr Callander said.

“This will provide the facilities they require, and help separate the camping area from other onsite events.”

Mr Callander said community consultation undertaken during development of the draft plan revealed a strong desire to increase informal community use of the site.

“Passive recreation was a theme that kept coming up during consultation,” he said.

The draft plan includes improved pedestrian access to and within the site, and an Aboriginal interpretive walking trail including a new lookout with views to the Watagans through bushland to the south, connecting with the multi-purpose centre and community garden.

“This will be a gradual transformation, increasing Morisset Showground’s usability and attractiveness, improving facilities and ensuring it’s a place that is relevant and respected for many years to come,” Mr Callander said.

The Draft Morisset Showground Plan of Management and Master Plan is on exhibition until 7 July.

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